What is in a Vehicle?

To understand our approach to sustainable materials, it is useful to understand the kinds and amounts of materials that are in our vehicles. The following graphics show the amounts of materials in several samples of our vehicles – specifically, the percentage of total weight of major material categories for each. Then, for each material category, we provide some facts about our sustainable material strategy.


  Material Percentage by Weight
Ford Ranger 79%
Ford Fiesta 76%
Ford Fusion 80%
Ford Edge 75%

Plastics, Textiles, and Natural Materials

  Material Percentage by Weight
Ford Ranger 17%
Ford Fiesta 19%
Ford Fusion 15.5%
Ford Edge 18%

Non-Dimensional Materials

  Material Percentage by Weight
Ford Ranger 1%
Ford Fiesta 1%
Ford Fusion 1.3%
Ford Edge 1%


  Material Percentage by Weight
Ford Ranger 0.2%
Ford Fiesta 0.5%
Ford Fusion 0.2%
Ford Edge 0.2%

Ceramics, Glass and Other Compounds

  Material Percentage by Weight
Ford Ranger 2.3%
Ford Fiesta 3%
Ford Fusion 2.5%
Ford Edge 5%

Fuels and Consumable Liquids

  Material Percentage by Weight
Ford Ranger 0.5%
Ford Fiesta 0.5%
Ford Fusion 0.5%
Ford Edge 0.8%


Most vehicles are made of at least 75 percent metals by weight. While the metals in today’s vehicles are primarily steel and iron, we are working to increase the use of lightweight metals such as aluminum, magnesium and titanium. By replacing iron and steel with these metals, we can reduce the total weight of the vehicle and therefore help improve vehicle fuel economy. However, we have to balance the light weight of these materials with their relatively higher costs and energy intensity to manufacture. (For more information, see the Lightweight Materials section.) Because all metals are routinely recycled at the end of a vehicle’s useful life, we focus most of our sustainable materials efforts on nonmetallic parts.

Plastics, Textiles and Natural Materials

These materials are the primary focus of our sustainable materials efforts. Though they make up a much smaller percentage by weight of the average vehicle than metals, they are the second-largest category in most vehicles. Increasing the amount of recycled content in these materials diverts waste from landfills. Increasing the amount of renewable content in these materials can reduce our dependence on finite resources and reduce lifecycle greenhouse gas emissions. We are using a wide range of recycled-content plastics and renewable, plant-based materials in our vehicles. (For more information, see Choosing More Sustainable Materials.)

Non-Dimensional Materials

These are materials such as paint, adhesives and sealants that have no shape or “dimension” before they are incorporated into a vehicle. Many non-dimensionals have been a traditional source of volatile organic compound (VOC) emissions during the vehicle manufacturing process. We are taking steps to replace VOC-emitting materials with alternatives or change our processing to reduce or recapture VOC emissions. (For more information, see Non -CO2 Facilities-Related Emissions.)

Electronics, Ceramics, Glass and Other Compounds

Ford has been working with our suppliers, dealers, dismantlers and industry associations (such as the USCAR Vehicle Recycling Partnership) to develop, share and implement best practices to deal with these categories of materials, which are a small percentage of any given vehicle by weight but are hard to recycle at the end of the vehicle’s life. Dealers and dismantlers are encouraged to reuse or recycle these materials whenever it is technically and economically feasible, to help divert them from landfills. Ford seeks to keep these materials to less than 5 percent of our vehicles, to maintain an overall vehicle recoverability rating of 95 percent.

Fuels and Consumable Liquids

These materials include the gasoline in the tank, engine oil, lubricants and other liquids. They are generally removed at dismantlers and recycled/reused where possible.


Download Summary Report

Ford’s 2012/13 Sustainability Report is summarized in this 8-page downloadable document.

Visit our Downloads page for this report in full or as separate sections along with supplementary publications.